What is it about milestone birthdays where the idea of celebrating the day with a cake or cupcake and a few friends falls flat. Maybe as the milestone birthdays get bigger it becomes more important to know you are making the world a better place.
Last year when I turned 49, I had just downsized from my condo to a smaller apartment. The continued process of decluttering reminded me there is not one thing I need. Thinking ahead to my 50th birthday I knew I didn't want a big party with presents. I wanted a celebration where gifts would go toward shining a light on modern day slavery.
October of last year, I added cycling outdoors to my physical activity to support a ride for the Paley Foundation. It was then my love for cycling began to grow and I knew it would play a role in my birthday celebration.
When it's your birthday in cycling you ride your age in miles. Since most Sundays I ride 50 - 60 miles a traditional birthday ride would be anticlimatic. The one thing I wanted to conquer was a Century Ride - 100 miles. Perfect challenge as double my age.
Based on wise counsel I decided to join an existing Century Ride vs create my own and have people join me (one step at a time). I have always wanted to go to Montana. I was excited to discover a beautiful Century Ride in Cascade, Montana on July 18th. This ride follows the path of Lewis & Clarke.
Asking people to support my ride to shine a light on modern day slavery knowing I would be racking up costs for this trip caused some anxiety. Out of the blue I was offered accomodations in Montana from some very generous friends in WPB, discovered I still had enough Delta miles and plenty of Marriott points for hotel so other than food and rental car, the trip is paid for. God made it very clear I had the green light for this trip.
Most of you know I own Shoppe 561
and the underlying theme of the Shoppe is Hope (that's why hope is in shoppe). We support Hope House Florida
a safe house for minor girls rescued from human trafficking. This house is only one of two for minor girls in the state of Florida.
When these girls arrive at the house, one of the areas neglected for a variety of reasons is their education as it relates to school and life skills. The average cost to support the education of one of the girls at the house is $1500 a year.
My goal is to raise $1500 to help transform a life that is fearfully and wonderfully made so she can see she is strong, smart and brave.
I am riding for the girls at Hope House and in honor of those who have yet to be freed. Having an opportunity to educate and share my story about why I am riding with those who come accross my path is exciting.
Best birthday gift ever for me is knowing a young girl will have the education needed so she can break the chains that have held her for so long and fly free.